Monday, January 12, 2015

Observations on prayer, part II: the discovery of prayer

Prayer must be discovered within Being.

What this means is that we contain prayer within ourselves quite naturally; and yet it is covered up in us, concealed. True prayer arises from the natural contact of the soul with God; this takes place where God flows into the soul, and from this sacred place, prayer wells up as an inevitable consequence; perhaps, even, not so much a consequence, which implies cause and effect, but as a necessity, which stands before causes and effects.

When the Lord enters, prayer is effortlessly revealed; and without Him, there are only words. 

Words alone can’t make prayer; it is a whole action in Being, and this is why it’s so terribly difficult to pretend that the prayers we say to one another, for example, before mealtimes have anything to do with actual prayer, living prayer. Action in Being constitutes a contact with, and expression of, the living energy of the Holy Spirit, which ought to be the aim of every inner practice. There are different words for this, of course… prana comes to mind… and in the Gurdjieff work, it is often just referred to as "an energy,” although this sells it far short of its actual nature, which is the living flow of God into Being. 

The Holy Spirit is called Holy because it is inherently sacred, that is, a direct Presence of God; and it is called Spirit because it is the active and personal arrival of the Lord within Being, as in the action of breath itself. Spirit is in fact breath; and when it arrives, we quite literally breathe in, breathe with, the Holy Spirit, because this is how it arrives and feeds us—through spiritual breath, that is, a finer kind of breathing that must not be taken literally and within the context of the mechanics of our lungs, but rather through the entire living presence of our flesh itself, which is to the last cell imbued with the Presence of the Lord through this breathing in of His Spirit.

This is personal, that is, it asks that we assume the role of an actor—a persona— and that role is to take on the Presence of God, who then acts within and through us. 

This is a subtle point and I do not expect readers to so easily grasp it; yet one ought to mark it well. 

I say that it is discovered because the organic experience of prayer within us is forcefully covered by personality; it is a hidden entity. One might also say it is encrypted, since its presence is perpetual, yet masked; and the whole point of inner work is, in its essence, the eventual unmasking of this aspect of Being, because prayer ultimately brings one back into, and then preserves, relationship with God.

Stating this as a sequential process is a bit misleading, because there is no actual sequence to the arrival and maintenance of the Presence. One wishes to maintain it, yes; and one fervently hopes through prayer that it may be maintained: in fact, one even senses that prayer is helpful in such maintenance. Yet Presence always operates under its own law and rules, and perhaps one might say we pray simply to acknowledge my insufficiency, to admit my place to myself.

I admit place to myself because, of course, God already knows my place; I am the one who needs to be reminded, and god has given me the tonic and remedy of prayer for this purpose. 

God does not need my prayers; God is in need of nothing, for He is whole and sufficient unto Himself. I need my prayers; and I need them first to organically remind myself that I am not God.


1 comment:

  1. thanks again...a good tonic for all who think they are god...


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.